Robert Welch Herrick (1868-1938) was a novelist who was part of a new generation of American realists. His novels deal with the turbulence of industrialized society and the turmoil it can create in sensitive, isolated people. He was also briefly acting-Governor of the United States Virgin Islands in 1935. He attended Harvard University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1890. From 1905 to 1923, he was a professor of literature at the University of Chicago, during which time he wrote thirteen novels. Among those considered to be his finest was Web of Life (1900).